Why do the Queen and Duchess Kate wear multiple poppies on Remembrance Day?

By Jessica Pollack

As the Royal Family marked Remembrance Day with a trio of somber events over the weekend (Nov. 10 and 11), many wondered about the Queen and Duchess Kate's sartorial tributes to fallen soldiers. Her Majesty wore a bouquet of five poppies pinned to her lapels over the weekend, while Prince William's wife and his stepmother, the Duchess of Cornwall, went with a trio of blooms. While no official explanation has been given, the monarch's adornments may have a particularly sentimental explanation.

The Queen wore a quintet of poppies to the Festival of Remembrance. Photo: © Getty Images

While attending the Festival of Remembrance on Saturday, the Queen wore a glittering black dress with a grey shawl draped over her shoulders and five poppies pinned to her left shoulder with a beautiful diamond and pearl brooch. On Sunday morning, she used a different diamond pin to fasten a quintet of paper flowers to her black coat at the Cenotaph, where Prince Charles laid a wreath on her behalf. For Sunday evening's Centenary of Armistice service, Her Majesty was back in regal purple with her five poppies pinned to her left shoulder on once again.

At the Cenotaph, Camilla wore three poppies while the Queen donned five. Photo: © Getty Images

It's believed that the Queen wears one flower for each branch of service - the navy, the army, the air force, civil defence and women. Last year, she wore three poppies to the Remembrance Sunday service, which could mean she's added two additional blooms this year to include the civil defence and women, or that this isn't the actual meaning behind her display. Another theory, according to The Express, is that she simply prefers to wear a corsage with varying numbers of blooms.

Duchess Kate wore three poppies. Photo: © Getty Images

At the Cenotaph, the Duchesses of Cornwall and Cambridge joined Her Majesty on one of the balconies overlooking the service, each clad in a trio of poppies. Camilla pinned hers using a silver brooch while Kate wore a fourth poppy as her brooch, the Royal British Legion's Women of The First World War Brooch. At the Festival of Remembrance, the mother of three wore a brooch with three blooms pinned close to her heart on the right side, and at Sunday's armistice service she wore a single flower.

It's not known why Kate and Camilla wear more than one poppy on some occasions and single blooms on others. Duchess Meghan made her Remembrance Day debut in a single poppy for all three occasions. What we do know is that the Royal Family takes the service of their soldiers very seriously and takes time together to honour the fallen with great care each year.

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